Businesses alerted to conman on the loose

Published: Friday 4th August 17

The council’s Commercial Services team is urging local small businesses to be on their guard against a fraudster trying to fleece companies out of hundreds of pounds.

Yesterday the man called into at least three businesses in Battersea Park Road and Falcon Road and told the proprietors he was from the council’s “debt recovery service” and required a £280 payment in cash to renew their license or inspect their food premises.

The man is nothing to do with the council and is not employed by any town hall service.

The types of business he appears to be targeting are ones that may normally require a licence of some description or be subject to environmental health inspections.

These include those that sell alcohol, offer hair or beauty treatments, massages, tattoos, piercings, sell pets, or are involved in the preparation, storage or sale of foodstuffs.

In yesterday’s attempted deceptions he fled empty handed when he was challenged to show some ID.

All these matters have now been reported to the police but the council is also alerting local businesses to be aware of this conman.  The man is described as white, slim to medium build and around five feet seven inches tall.

The town hall’s cabinet member for employment, skills and business development Cllr Kim Caddy said: “If people are approached by anyone claiming to be from the council they should always immediately ask to see a valid ID badge. 

“If the person doesn’t produce one straight away or if there is any kind of excuse as to why it cannot be shown then this should be reported to the police immediately.”

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